Christmas in Syria is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.
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While a Muslim-majority nation, a surprisingly high 10 percent of Syrians are Christians who celebrate Christ’s birth each year. Many of them are Eastern Orthodox, however, and observe Christmas on 6 January instead of on 25 December.
On 6 December, many churches in Syria hold a special service for Saint Nicholas Thaumaturgus, a character strikingly similar to “Old Saint Nick”. Then, they may fast from meat in the days leading up to Christmas Day.
Finally, note that on Christmas Eve, which is 5 January to many Syrians, the Wise men’s smallest camel is said to bring children presents.
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